Russo-Ukraine War - 17 March 2023 - Day 387
A number of claims and counterclaims are being made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict on the ground and online. While GlobalSecurity.org takes utmost care to accurately report this news story, we cannot independently verify the authenticity of all statements, photos and videos.
On 24 February 2022, Ukraine was suddenly and deliberately attacked by land, naval and air forces of Russia, igniting the largest European war since the Great Patriotic War. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a "special military operation" (SVO - spetsialnaya voennaya operatsiya) in Ukraine in response to the appeal of the leaders of the "Donbass republics" for help. That attack is a blatant violation of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. Putin stressed that Moscow's goal is the demilitarization and denazification of the country. The military buildup in preceeding months makes it obvious that the unprovoked and dastardly Russian attack was deliberately planned long in advance. During the intervening time, the Russian government had deliberately sought to deceive the world by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
"To initiate a war of aggression... is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole." [Judgment of the International Military Tribunal]
The UK Ministry of Defence reported that in recent days, Russian and Wagner Group forces have obtained footholds west of the Bakhmutka River in the centre of the contested Donbas town of Bakhmut. Over the preceding week, the river had marked the front line. Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to defend the west of the town.
However, more broadly across the front line, Russia is conducting some of the lowest rates of local offensive action that has been seen since at least January 2023. This is most likely because Russian forces have temporarily depleted the deployed formations' combat power to such an extent that even local offensive actions are not currently sustainable.
Russian leaders will likely seek to regenerate the offensive potential of the force once personnel and munition stocks are replenished. In the meantime, commanders will likely be forced to choose between carrying out offensive operations and conducting a credible defence of the full line.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that during the day, Russian forces carried out 19x airstrikes and launched 26x MLRS attacks. The threat level of missile strikes remains high throughout the territory of Ukraine.
Volyn', Polissya, Sivershchyna and Slobozhanshchyna axes: the operational situation has not changed significantly. Russia continues to harden defense lines in the border areas of its Bryansk and Kursk oblasts. Moreover, Russia maintains enhanced military presence in Belgorod oblast of Russia, aiming to show presence, to conduct demonstrative actions, and to prevent Ukrainian Defense Forces from being transferred to other axes. During the day, Russian forces shelled the vicinities of Starykov, Volfyne, and Solyanyki settlements (Sumy oblast); Strilech, Hlyboke, Starytsia, Vovchans'k, Kolodyazne, Krasne Pershe, Kutkivka, Dvorichna, Zapadne, and Ternov (Kharkiv oblast).
Kup'yans'k and Lyman axes: Russian forces made unsuccessful attempts to break through Ukrainian defense lines. Russian troops shelled a number of settlements, including: Vesele, Hryanykivka, Vilshana, Krokhmalne, Berestov, Dibrova, and Andriivka (Kharkiv oblast); Novoyehorivka, Nevs'ke and Bilohorivka (Luhansk oblast). The Russian occupiers attempted to advance towards Hryanykivka, Verkhn'okam'yans'ke, and Spirne.
Bakhmut axis: Russian forces struggle to seize the city of Bakhmut, where constant positional battles continue. Ukrainian defenders repelled Russian attacks in the vicinities of Klishchiivka and Ivanovs'ke settlements. Minskivka, Orikhovo-Vasylivka, Zaliznyans'ke, Vasyukivka, Bakhmut, Hryhorivka, Ivanivs'ke, Ozaryanivka and Oleksandro-Shultine (Donetsk oblast) came under Russian fire.
Avdiivka, Mar'inka, and Shakhtars'k axes: Russian forces attempted unsuccessful offensives towards Kam'yanka, Nevels'ke, Avdiivka, and Mar'inka (Donetsk oblast). Kamy'anka, Avdiivka, Vodyane, Krasnohorivka, Heorgiivka, Maksimilianivka, Mar'yinka, Vuhledar, Velyka Novosilka, and Zolota Niva (Donetsk oblast) were subjects to Russian artillery fire.
Zaporizhzhia and Kherson axes: Russia stays on the defensive. Malynivka, Hulyaipole, Zaliznychne, Biloghirya, Mala Tokmachka, Novoandriivka, Mali Shcherbaki, and Kamy'ans'ke (Zaporizhzhia oblast) Vremivka (Donetsk oblast); Dobra Nadiya (Dnipropetrovsk oblast); Dudchany, Kachkarivka, Vesele, Kozats'ke, Ivanivka, Mykilske, Dniprovske, Kherson, Berehove Veletens'ke, and Kizomys (Kherson oblast) suffered Russian attacks.
Russian occupiers were reported to establish new hospital in Svatove (Luhansk oblast). Following the initial reporting, up to 30x severely wounded russian military were delivered to the hospital in last 2x days. In general, there is an increase in the number of seriously wounded Russian soldiers. The number of evacuation flights to the territory of Russia has increased from two to three per week. Local residents who have at least some medical education are forced to provide medical treatment to the Russian occupiers.
The Russian occupiers, with the active support of local collaborators, are increasing the number of torture chambers in the temporarily occupied and captured territories of Ukraine. Thus, a newly created torture chamber was spotted in the southeastern part of Energodar, Zaporizhzhia oblast. There, citizens with pro-Ukrainian views, as well as those who do not want to comply with the demands of the local occupying so-called authorities, are brutally tortured.
During the day, Ukrainian Air Force conducted 6x air strikes on the concentrations of Russian troops and military equipment.
Statements of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
The Russian Ministry of Defense in a daily briefing reported that during the day, as a result of attacks on the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, about 335 Ukrainian servicemen and a large number of military equipment were eliminated. In the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), an enemy ammunition depot was hit.
Operational-tactical and army aviation, missile forces and artillery hit 82 artillery units, manpower and equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 112 districts. In the Kharkiv region, a Ukrainian radar station (radar) for detecting low-flying air targets 36D6 was destroyed, in the DPR, a US-made counter-battery radar AN / TPQ-36 was destroyed.
Air defense systems intercepted 5 shells of the HIMARS multiple launch rocket system and the Tochka-U tactical missile. 14 Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles were destroyed in the Luhansk People's Republic (LPR), Kherson and Kharkov regions.
In the coming weeks, the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Zaporizhia direction is not ruled out, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the main council of the administration of the Zaporozhye region and chairman of the movement "We are together with Russia", believes. He urged in these matters not to be guided by the analytics of Western observers, who stated that Ukrainian troops could launch an attack no earlier than May.
The armed forces of Ukraine fired at the village of Alyoshki. The residential sector was hit.
The Ukrainian sabotage and reconnaissance group, destroyed at the Kakhovka reservoir, made the largest attempt to force the Dnieper, said the acting head of the Kherson region Volodymyr Saldo. According to the official, the losses of the enemy amounted to about several dozen people.
Saldo noted that the reservoir and the coast of the Dnieper River are under constant surveillance by the Russian military. All attempts by the Armed Forces of Ukraine to land in the area are being thwarted.
From the beginning of the day, the Armed Forces of Ukraine opened fire on Donetsk and Horlivka. In Donetsk, a civilian was injured as a result of attacks.
The Commissioner for Human Rights in the DPR, Daria Morozova, announced the return to the republic of 29 soldiers who were released from Ukrainian captivity as part of another round of exchanges. At the same time, another 10 fighters are in serious condition and are not yet transportable.
The Russian Guard detained a former serviceman of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the suburbs of Mariupol, who is suspected of complicity with the Kyiv regime. He has been handed over to the police for further investigation.
Mariupol City Hospital No. 2 received a large batch of new Russian medical equipment for maternity hospitals. Thus, the facility received equipment to equip the neonatal unit, the neonatal intensive care unit.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel of the People's Militia of the LPR Andrei Marochko said that Russian units had found a way to influence Ukrainian formations using silent mortars in the Kupyansk direction. According to the officer, on the morning of March 17, one of the enemy groups that used such equipment was destroyed.
In the village of Shchedrishchevo, a mass grave was discovered, from which the remains of 20 people were removed. The press service of the Investigative Committee of Russia reported that during the examination, explosive fragmentation wounds, the absence of lower limbs and other injuries that led to death were found on the bodies.
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